Weird Commercials That Definitely Wouldn't Get Made These Days

Ashley Hunte
An old TV airing some kind of black and white program.
Unsplash | Bruna Araujo

There's a good chance you've seen a weird, disturbing, or downright offensive commercial on TV before. They usually act as good lessons on what audiences don't want to see in between episodes of their favorite shows.

Or sometimes, they're simply products of their time. In this list, these commercials aired at one point, but definitely couldn't be made today (or for an English-speaking audience).

Strong content warning for the subject matter in some of these commercials.

Baby Secret.

This toy was supposed to tell cute little secrets to kids, but just sounds like it's trying to get you to burn the house down.

It says, "I want to tell you something," but I kept replaying it because all I could hear was, "I'm going to kill you someday." Yikes.

Little Baby's Ice Cream "This is a Special Time."

Person covered in ice cream.
youtube | LittleBabysIceCream

It's... hard to believe this was ever on TV. Weirdly enough, it'd fit into a horror movie, or a spooky online series, way better than on any prime time TV commercial timeslot.

This PS3 commercial.

Ah yes, because a creepy baby doll is exactly what Sony needed to push its PlayStation 3 console. Not. Weirdly enough, it seems pretty fitting for that era of video games. It's hard to explain why, though.

Orkin vacation commercial.

Two rats playing guitar.
youtube | FunniestAds

Weird, but effective. Like, nobody wants to come home from vacation to find rats infesting their house. I feel like Orkin's CGI rat budget was used in the best way possible, because I'm both creeped out and impressed.

"There are no accidents."

This series of commercials dealt with workplace safety and how improper procedures can lead to severe injury and death. They're pretty intense, but man do they get the message across.

These ones really freaked me out when they were airing.

Confused dot com: Chain Reaction.

Various cartoon characters dancing.
youtube | Hall Of Advertising

This commercial aired in the UK, advertising services to help citizens with car insurance. Which didn't come across in this commercial at all. The weird amount of female cartoon characters whose breasts were bouncing did, though.

Parents For Responsible Viewing: Biggie Bear.

Man in a bear suit and man in a dog suit talking
youtube | rocketracoon19

A series of South African commercials warning parents about how adult content can easily be dressed up as something safe for kids? It goes as you'd think. For such a colorful setting, the themes here get heavy.

Japanese SoftBank dog commercials.

Finally, something that isn't that disturbing. Just a bunch of Japanese commercials featuring a talking dog. I'm not gonna lie, these are super entertaining. But I feel like you wouldn't see these kinds of commercials on this side of the world.

Hyundai: Pipe job.

Car in a garage.
youtube | adsoftheworldvideos

This commercial is... yeah. It's so bad, you have to believe it isn't real. But I actively remember seeing this on TV at one point. Luckily, car commercials don't take such serious topics and use them to sell product anymore.

This Humpty Dumpty nightmare from Kinder Surprise.

I didn't think I'd have to be scared of a Kinder Surprise commercial, but here we are. And to think, this pure form of nightmare fuel was in a commercial geared toward kids.

Japanese Banana commercial.

Man with bananas on his head.
youtube | oneabjure

Short, sweet, and to the point. And super weird, of course. I honestly wonder if Japan saw an uptake in banana sales after this commercial started airing, or if people decided they didn't really need the extra potassium.

Kevin the Hamster (Levi's).

This commercial is honestly more upsetting than anything else. Like, it's about a little hamster who dies for some reason. Never mind the fact that this has absolutely nothing to do with Levi's, or anything really.

Japanese Kleenex commercial from the '80s.

As the legend goes, this commercial changes from slightly creepy, to even creepier, at midnight. Oh, and it's cursed or something. But as it turns out, this bizarre commercial was just that. Though, the company did create a second, distorted version of the video.

Confusing McDonald's coffee commercial.

Man with long nose.
youtube | BrandFreakTwo

So, two laughing guys have a really long conjoined nose? Is this supposed to be some kind of exhaustion-fueled dream from somebody who hasn't had their morning coffee? McDonald's was off their rocker with this one.

Levi's commercial from the '70s.

I guess the people at the Levi's marketing team like making weird, somewhat disturbing commercials. This one's pretty tame, it's just bizarre. It feels like a drug trip no one asked for, but got anyway.

Groupon Super Bowl ad.

Man being served at a restaurant.
youtube | sportsmetro

A commercial that starts out seeming like an plea for humanitarian aid in Tibet, that then makes a complete 180 and turns into Timothy Hutton talking about the fish curry he's about to eat. Oh yeah, totally inoffensive.

Bic Banana Ink Crayons!

Honestly, everything about this is just weird. It's a bizarrely funny commercial, don't get me wrong. But it definitely feels like a product of its time. I don't think you could air something like this today.

Carvel Cookie O'Puss commercial.

Another weird one. It feels like the kind of thing you'd see at 3 a.m. on a public access channel, and you're so overtired from staying up all night that you're half tempted to call the number and gift a friend a Cookie O'Puss.

Coke keeps you thin in the 1960s!

Woman drinking coke.
youtube | sangroncito

Spoiler alert: it didn't. But back before manufacturers had to slap a nutrition label on junk food, it was pretty easy to tell impressionable viewers that, yeah, Coke keeps you thin.

Winston Cigarettes featuring the Flintstones.

It's hard to believe that there was a time when you could see cigarette commercials on TV. Even harder to think that they'd use cartoon characters to advertise them. This commercial is bizarre on so many levels.